How to Do a Step-Up with Dumbbells

Targets: Quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings

Equipment Needed: Step, dumbbells

This is a great combination of a glutes and hamstring workout. The trick is to ensure the platform is high enough in order to really activate those muscle fibers. Holding dumbbells can add intensity to the movement. If you prefer, you can use an exercise band/ sport chord wrapped under the step, which can add a lot of intensity if you keep the tension on the band high. This is a great exercise and you should really feel it.

Starting Position:

  • Clutch a pair of dumbbells (optional), holding them by your sides with your palms facing your body.
  • Stand behind a 6 to 15 inch high step (like those used in aerobic step classes) and keep your arms straight. If you are a beginner, use the smaller step and work your way up.


  • Step onto the center of the step with your right foot and transfer your weight to your heel pushing down onto the step.
  • Concentrate on using only your right leg, using your left leg only for balance.
  • Slowly step back down. Repeat on the left side.

Key Points:

  • Exhale while stepping up.
  • Inhale while stepping down.
  • Ensure your head is up and your back straight.
  • Focus all your attention on the legs and perform the movements with perfect form.
  • Do not do this exercise if you feel any discomfort in your knees.
  • Perform 20 repetitions for each leg and 1-3 sets.

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